Cutting Through the Noise – 4 Tips to Stand Out in the Job Application Process
How do you make your job application stand out?
Rhonda Baird of HAJOCA Corporation, a South Central Region Recruiter shares her thoughts.
As a recruiter, hundreds of resumes come across my desk, via email and through our online application process. When analyzing applicants for Hajoca’s management training program we’re looking for people who will become the future leaders of our company so it’s important for them to make a good impression. Here is a list of 4 Tips to help you stand out as a candidate in the job application process:
A well-organized layout, grammatically correct resume STANDS OUT! Once you have your education, work experience, and relevant information pulled together, make sure you have multiple parties proof your resume. Many times, we receive resumes sprinkled with spelling or grammar mistakes. These resumes are automatically discarded. What does this say about the applicant? It says they are ok with mediocre work, not concerned with details, or just not the caliber candidate we are looking for to fill the coveted positions in our Management Development Program. Companies are making huge investments in their MDP trainees. Those willing to put forth the effort, STAND OUT as a SUPERSTAR, and are the ones we pursue.
HIGHLIGHT LEADERSHIP ROLES
Create an additional section in your resume highlighting leadership roles held in school, extra-curricular activities or sports. These are VERY valuable roles giving applicants highly sought after LEADERSHIP characteristics. As a captain of a sports team, coordinator of volunteer events, president of an organization, or chairman of a philanthropic event, candidates learn to prioritize, organize and lead, but most importantly learn leadership skills to accomplish a common goal. Listing the position, chief responsibilities and outcome of the event demonstrate solid leadership traits companies seek.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Prepared candidates STAND OUT! As an applicant, take time to research the company and position applied for, as well as the company’s culture. Many companies have websites with specific areas dedicated to information about their history, culture and training programs. The level of research you have done on the company shows you are serious about the position and high level of interest in the particular company. As you research companies, you learn about the company culture and “fit” of the company with your values and long-term goals. It is a WIN-WIN for you and the company if these items line up from the very beginning.
FOLLOW-UP and ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Specific candidates come to mind when they follow-up during the application process and after interviews. Follow-up can really set a candidate apart! It begins with a cover-letter or email to the hiring manager, and follow-up throughout the interview process. As a recruiter, candidates stand out when they send an email or note of thanks after an interview or follow-up to let recruiters know their on-line assessments have been completed. Express an interest in continuing to the next step in the interview process if you like what you hear about the position or company during an interview. ASK for the job or next interview in the hiring process. Many candidates assume they will be invited to the next phase of interviewing instead of affirming their interest and asking for the second round of interviews or the position out right.
These four tips will cut through the noise and help you stand out as a stellar candidate in the job application process.